The same day I knowingly left the house in my younger brother’s stained school shirt, was also the day I got caught flossing my teeth with my hair. Twice. Once in my car and once in the Barnes and Noble bathroom. Because no one has time to search a bottomless diaper bag for minty floss. And the baby is impatient. And a bit rude. And now an eight-year-old is staring at me in disgust while I let go of a soiled strand of hair and attempt a cute boy band smirk.
I’m sure I’ll be the talk of many a slumber party. Such a freaking role model.
I really need to start giving a damn. Even if it’s just an itty bitty damn. Like the kind you seldom notice at family gatherings. The kind that stands alone in the kitchen, content to just be in the house among the gossip and cat hair.
I could totally give that kind of damn.
Because lately, I feel kind of blah — frumpy, not so cute, and occasionally sticky (my hands are always covered in a fine mixture of banana gunk and cookie crumbs). Delicious baby food aside, I should totally take care of myself a little more. Nothing extravagant, just maybe powder, mascara, and jeans — give the leggings a break for once. They’ve been working hard this past year.
I’m having a hard time pinpointing right when the lack of damn started. It was definitely before the baby bump — that would just be too good of an excuse. It’s like I allowed life to overwhelm me (running a business, falling in love with a new city, drinking all the dirty martinis) and I let myself get sloppy. And because I worked from home, little things like painting my nails, applying mascara, buttoning my jeans — became pretty non-existent. I still always wore deodorant and shaved. You’re welcome.
Soon after that I got pregnant and I eagerly awaited my “glow” to appear to replace all my cosmetics and effort (the little bit I still exerted). I’ll just assume said glow got lost in all the clutter (yeh, I also wasn’t cleaning much — worst housewife ever, eh?) and will catch me next time around.
Then everything was kind of a blur: Gave birth, became a mom, never slept, planned too many weddings, sold my business, moved to Amsterdam, watched Frozen again, perfected writing while nursing, continued to not sleep…
It’s been a hard realization for me — the fact that I am caring so much about my appearance. Granted, not enough to actually do anything about, but enough to complain and shake my fists towards the heavens. Because I have never really cared what people think of the way I look. Yes, I would prefer them to not run in terror or disgust, but other than that, I think I have a pleasant enough smile to at least barter a hug or a new story for. If you don’t like my face, then we will probably never have a secret best friend handshake and that is just sad. Also, you’re mean.
Some days I’ll fix my hair and actually feel pretty good. Then the dude and I set out for an adventure and I don’t know what happens or who allowed it but within five minutes my hair is in a cap, with the frizzy part sticking out the back. And that’s around the time I notice I have only put eyeliner on one eye. But that’s what sunglasses are for. Mostly.
I use to LOVE getting dressed up. I am the daughter of a beautician afterall (but not nearly as skilled or pretty). I enjoy a good hair day as much as any other gal. No one would know that, of course, due to the frizzy horsetail I choose to rock instead. It’s just that spending the time to actually wash AND dry AND straighten AND curl AND photoshop my hair is just not an option most days. Not when I could use that time to sleep or stare blankly at the wall for a good ten minutes. My special mom time.
Yeh, I use the mom card a lot. Especially at dinner dates with my girlfriends: “I totally would have fixed myself (put on make-up, jazzercised, wore pants) but you know, I was too busy being a mom.” And then I pile that rat’s nest on top of my head, in a glorious lopsided bun (not the cool kind like tween celebrities) and precede to inhale all the free chips and salsa our scared waiter has brought to the table. Because, as previously stated, I am a mom. And now I am poor. Because I have to buy all the toys. All. The. TOYS. And puffs and cute duck robes that he will never wear.
On the days when I do feel pretty — painted face, the right amount of cleavage, a hot pink superhero tee or a gorgeous thrift store gown — I feel wonderful and productive, the dishes get done, and you bet your sweet booty, there will probably be a selfie.
Those days just don’t happen too often. And certainly not without my husband begging a little and bribing me with gifts.
I even joined a gym when we got to Amsterdam. You know, trying my best to give a damn and all. But as soon as I made a friend there, I stopped going. Now I go drinking with that friend — we don’t talk about the gym at all. I don’t think we understand how the whole working out thing works. And they don’t put any alcohol in their health smoothies. Lame.
Not to blame the Dutch again, but seriously, this is kind of their fault. Because in Amsterdam, I never worry about running into someone I know at the grocery store or movies. Because I only know like five people. But, since I have been back in the states visiting for the past month, I almost have a heart attack every time I go to Target. Partly because my heart just can’t handle the vast amount of adorable school supplies, but mainly because I know EVERYONE there. It’s like all my friends planned a welcome home party in the “everything pretty and pastel and glittery and useless” aisle and now we devote Tuesdays to catching up. And it’s forcing me to consider wearing makeup when I go shopping for milk and tampons and trashy UK magazines. WHAT!??
So, I think it’s time for me to officially start giving that damn I’ve been throwing around. At least for my husband’s sake. I want to be fancy for no reason at all, sit outside in my garden in a long, kind of awkward length vintage gown with clean and curly hair and lipstick so red it burns your eyeballs — watching my son play in the dirt and blow me kisses. I want my husband to think I’m gorgeous and my son to pull on my dress with his dirt-laden chubby fingers, leaving a trail of brown dots down the ancient fabric. I want to not worry about feeling vain or ugly or pretty or judged. I just want to feel good. And maybe a little tipsy. Someone should bring champagne. And watch the baby.
And I don’t want 14-year-olds to hit on me anymore. So I am considering giving my superhero tees away. And maybe saying good bye to the overplayed ballet bun.
Or maybe I’ll just start using floss. Like the grown ups and judgmental eight-year-olds do.
PS… I typed this wearing heels. Giggity.